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Radio Caroline returns to the airwaves

By | Published on Friday 22 December 2017

Radio Caroline

Legendary pirate station Radio Caroline this morning returned to analogue radio, broadcasting on a frequency formerly used by the BBC World Service. It’s all legit now though, the station’s pirating days are long behind it.

The original offshore pirate station’s appearance on medium wave frequency 648kHz is the conclusion of a long campaign, started with an early day motion in Parliament by Tracey Crouch MP in 2010.

Broadcasting online for more than a decade now, the station has had various temporary licences on the more conventional airwaves, and for the last couple of years a regular weekend spot on the Isle Of Man’s Manx Radio. However, this is the first time it’s been permanently available on AM since its pirate days came to an end in the early 90s.

Currently operating on a local licence, allowing it to broadcast to Suffolk and North Essex, Radio Caroline boss Peter Moore noted the “ironic twist” of the station being given a former BBC frequency – Radio 1 having been launched in 1967 in direct response to the popularity of pirate stations.

“The unlikely return of Caroline to regular radio opens the latest chapter in its extraordinary 53 year history”, Moore told the BBC. “Caroline was the first of many pirate stations to broadcast from ships and abandoned wartime forts off the British coast, opening at Easter 1964”.

He added that, while technically it’s only available in Suffolk and Essex, it can be heard in other areas too, saying that “test transmissions have reached further afield and it can be received along much of the East Coast”.